Another one that I've been really looking forward to getting on the blog; but not as much Karen & Pete have as they regularly remind me! When you'll see it, you'll understand why. This wedding is an absolute beauty.
I knew from when I first met with them over a year before that there would be a lot going on, and there really was. They both completely 'get' documentary photography and knew that approach was what they wanted, with a few more personal portraits and detail shots requested. With a lot of guests invited - including many younger ones - Karen & Pete wanted to make sure there was plenty for people to do throughout the day, and with the stunning - as in really stunning - Hedsor House for their reception, there was plenty of opportunity.
With Graham again for this one, we started the day at Karen's family home, where controlled chaos was taking place as all of Karen's bridesmaids and flower girls were getting ready. Karen had chosen to do her own makeup, and did a brilliant job at keeping cool and calm with everything going on around her. I just loved the flowers being hung up outside in the greenhouse. A great detail shot that required no setup and was completely in context. That's more interesting to me than simple closeups.
We met up with Pete and his groomsmen in a pub across from the church where they were having a pre-ceremony pint. Pete was as relaxed as Karen had been and with healthy banter flowing already, the atmosphere was good.
We had tight restrictions placed on us during the ceremony and were unable to provide the kind of coverage I would normally expect to. It's a shame when either through bad previous experiences, a lack of understanding or other underlying reasons, priests do place these limitations on us sometimes. Usually, explaining the way I work and demonstrating just how quiet and unobtrusive the cameras are is enough to gain some additional ground, but not this time despite my best powers of reasoning. I think it's sad that a couple can miss out on coverage of this important part of their lives. Still, always respectful to the specified requirements I managed to get some images to document the ceremony, whilst Graham was prevented from doing anything under the intense scrutiny of church staff at the rear.
I love seeing guests take photographs at weddings, especially Grannies, and even more so when they use film. Keep it analogue!
Returning to Hedsor House and after a quick hailstorm between the car and doorway, the rest of the day was beautiful spring sunshine. I've been at Hedsor Hous before and it offers a combination of gorgeous architecture and decor, with enough scope for couples (or any events - Mark Ronson had his 30th birthday party here) to apply their own personality. The central room with upper gallery is really gorgeous and the whole venue is a treat for photography.
The final thing of note that you will see in the images is the lighting. Karen's parents work in the film industry and had access to a huge amount of industrial lighting effects which were placed throughout the house and outdoors. I'm told it was something in the region of £20,000 worth of lighting that was used and the effect was awesome. I try and reserve that word for when it is really deserved and this is one of those occasions. Not to be outdone, Mother Nature gave us some spectacular light as well with one of the first wedding sunsets of the year. Just beautiful.
Click through the gallery to see a larger selection. It's worth going full screen on a desktop or mobile device to get the best impact (click the arrows in the top-right of the image below).